BAY RIDGE — She may be only in the seventh grade, but Bay Ridge’s Ana-Sofia Rodriguez has already compiled a solid resume performing off-Broadway, in movies and on television. She played Amy in “A Little Princess,” which premiered this month in New York City.
“A Little Princess” is a brand new musical adaptation by British writing team Carl Miller and Marc Folan based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The musical debuted last year at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s the Other Palace in London, and made its United States premiere at the Pershing Square Signature Center at 480 West 42nd St. in Manhattan.
Burnett’s popular 1905 novel began as a short story, but due to its popularity, the author expanded the work. “A Little Princess” is a children’s book that centers on themes like perseverance, friendship and strength of character.
The story revolves around Captain Crewe and his daughter, Sara, who have arrived in London after living abroad in India. Crewe is quite wealthy and believes Miss Minchin’s Seminary for Young Ladies will be the best school for Sara. When unfortunate circumstances leave her impoverished, Sara begins to discover things she never knew about the world, and that a true princess’s light shines from the inside.
“My description of the role of Amy is that she is very protective and caring,” said Rodriguez. “She has two other street children she takes care of, and their names are Anne and Albert. She always makes sure they’re safe and tries her best to treat them like brother and sister.”
Rodriguez continued, “Amy also has other characteristics like annoyed, jealous and desperate. She gets annoyed by Sara, a very brave girl in the show. Sara is nice and sweet, but the street kids don’t like her because they are poor. Amy is jealous because she wishes she were in Sara’s shoes, pretty and happy. They end up realizing they shouldn’t have judged her too quickly because all she was is kind. Amy likes to take on the world and care for all the street kids like family, and she is not afraid of anything!”
Prior to joining the show, Rodriguez played Little Gloria in the Broadway National Tour of “On Your Feet! The Musical,” which tells the story of the lives of Latinx musical icons Emilio and Gloria Estefan. Selected for the role by Estefan herself, Rodriguez had the opportunity to perform in 39 cities over the span of a year.
She has also appeared in off Broadway productions and participated in several short films, including “Ceviche,” “La Sangre En Nuestras Venas” and “Back to Alaska.” On television, she had a principal role in the Emmy Award-winning “The Magical Wand Chase: A Sesame Street Special” on HBO.
Rodriguez was born in Brooklyn and has lived in Bay Ridge all her life. As a child, her first musical theater training was at Dimensions On Stage, a children’s acting school at 76th Street and Third Avenue and her first vocal coach was Christina Gioradano at Music Box School at 94th Street and Fourth Avenue. Rodriguez graduated from St. Ephrem School in Bay Ridge and currently attends Mark Twain Intermediate School for the Gifted and Talented on Neptune Avenue.
“I always wanted to act because I loved seeing how people would react and say their lines,” said Rodriguez. “I could turn down the volume all the way on the TV and still watch the show because I loved to just see them act and react.”